Irish unionists and the union, 1801–2007

Alvin Jackson

in The Two Unions

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199593996
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731419 | DOI:
Irish unionists and the union, 1801–2007

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This chapter examines Irish unionism. For much of the first three quarters of the 19th century, Irish electoral politics were dominated by parties, Conservative and Liberal, which were united by a shared commitment to union. Each of these traditions, but in particular the Conservative, fed into the creation of an organized unionist movement between 1884 and 1886. Drawing upon a formidable range of social, financial, and cultural resources, this movement successfully delayed the implementation of any form of Home Rule until 1920–1921; and it has so far prevented the attainment of the historic nationalist goal of a united and autonomous Irish state. Whether the Unionist movement, in achieving this delay, effectively scuppered an historic reconciliation between Irish nationalism and the British state is open to counterfactual debate.

Keywords: Irish unionism; Conservatives; Liberals; Unionist movement; Irish state

Chapter.  21572 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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